The opening ceremony of the 24th Edition of the Ghana University Sports Association (GUSA) Games happened in a grand style at the University Hall Football Park, North Campus, University of Education, Winneba (UEW).
The Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the University of Education, Winneba (UEW), Rev Fr. Prof. Anthony Afful-Broni, who doubles as the Chairman of the Local Organizing Committee (LOC)for the GUSA Games, introduced the guests and welcomed every individual present.
In his welcome address the Vice-Chancellor (VC) of UEW, Prof. Mawutor Avoke, said sports was undoubtedly a unifying discipline. Thus to commence the year with sporting activities signified unity and strength in all effort of institutional building.
He commended the LOC of GUSA, staff, student leadership and the entire university body for a successful take off of the games despite the daunting challenge of funding.
He said that the theme for the games: Developing and Sustaining Sporting Talents for Ghana, was timely because developing and sustaining the talents of the various universities will go a long way to impact positively on the Nation’s effort of projecting a positive image of sports and appealed to sponsors to reconsider their distant relationship with University sports by coming closer to give general support to help the development of sports in Ghana.
The Winneba Group Four Masquerade, the only group with a brass band, in collaboration with the Departments of Music and Theater Arts Education lit the whole atmosphere with a colorful cultural display that left audience with a mixed reaction.
In an address, the president of GUSA, Prof. Ogah, commended stakeholders for their efforts put in to make sure that the games were organized taking into consideration the challenges that come with the organization of such events especially in rigid academic environment.
He noted that as per GUSA guidelines, the promotion of gender equality in university sports was a priority and hinted that GUSA has asked all member institution to employ at least one female coach to their teams and bemoaned some institutions’ inability to comply with the directive stating it was rather unacceptable for those universities with thousands of female students to lack a female coach.
He also pointed out that one major concern in university sports were the inadequacy of basic sporting facilities, indicating that no university had all four facilities namely; a multipurpose sports hall, gymnasium, swimming pool and tartan track which he said are basic features of modern universities.
He blamed the nation’s inability to host international competitions because there were no facilities for indoor games especially in handball, volleyball and basketball, stating that the days of playing these games on bitumen and concrete are long gone. “Today we are here to play on concrete”, he said as he lamented the nation’s lack of investment in sports facilities that had made Ghana an underdog in sports.
The GUSA Games flag was hoisted by the VC of UEW, Prof. Mawutor Avoke who was assisted by the VC of the UG, Prof Aryeetey and the Pro-VC of UEW, Very Rev Fr. Prof Afful-Broni after which the energetic Finance Officer of UEW, Dr Ackorlie run to lit the games flame.
The Minister of Education, Prof. Jane Naana Opoku Agyemang in her keynote address also commended the various stakeholders for keeping the GUSA Games alive saying, “it is commendable to see that the universities are doing everything in their power to sustain sports on their campuses”, adding that a general effort aimed at an all inclusive participation would be in the right direction, hoping that invitation will be sent to the private institutions to participate in the games at some point in time.
The Minister who was of the view that the theme for the occasion was well crafted said that the unifying quality of the games was not lost on individuals gathered there, indicating that the context of games allowed us to bond, respect and tolerate since we get to know the strength of the losers and the weaknesses of the winners.
She added that we must grow in a qualitative manner and ensure our endurance. She indicated that the resources required for achieving these depended largely on the human reserve. She further indicated that we sustain and progress when we pay back and see this as a major source of sustenance pointing out that many sports persons who have enjoyed the benefits of these sports continue to adopt, support and promote the sports on which their fame is anchored and called on others to tread this path.
The teams from the eight participating institutions; University of Education, Winneba, University of Ghana, University of Development Studies, University of Cape Coast, University of Energy and Natural Resource, University of Mines and Technology, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology and the University of Professional studies marched past admits cheers from the audience.
The 3-0 football match victory of team UEW over team UMaT in a keenly contested competition which was dominated in the first 15 minutes by team UMaT seems to be a wonderful crowing outcome by the host, in the opening ceremony which many pundits believed was the best as far as GUSA Games were concerned.
Also in attendance was the Registrar of UEW, Dr. C.Y. Akwaa-Mensah, the Pro-VC, UCC, Prof George Oduro, the Director of Internal Audit, UCC, Mr. Emmanuel K Owusu, Chairman, Sports and Recreation, UCC, Dr Charles Domfeh, Dean of Science, UEW, Prof. Samuel Asiedu-Addo, Internal Auditor, UEW, Ms. Sena Dake, Chaplain, UEW, Rev. Kwasi Nkum Wilson, Principals of the College, Kumasi, Mampong and Ajumako, Ghana’s Ambassador to Angola, Mr. Bukari Moses Mabengba, Deputy Director General, National Sports Authority, Mr. Saka Acquaye, UniBank Winneba Branch Manager, Mr Kwaku Yankson, Staff Officer, Ghana Prison, Winneba, ASP Otto Berkoe, Heads of Departments, lecturers, police, students and spectators.
A Campus Spotlight Report